Friday, April 11, 2014

Government troops pursuing Abu Sayyaf bandits in Basilan

From the Philippine News Agency (Apr 11): Government troops pursuing Abu Sayyaf bandits in Basilan

Government troops are hot on the trails of a group of Abu Sayyaf bandits who disrupted Friday the implementation of road concreting project in the municipality of Tipo-Tipo, this province.

Being pursued as of press time is the group of Abu Sayyaf leader Furuji Indama, “who are now occupying school buildings in Barangay Baguindan,” Tipo-Tipo.

Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) information officer Capt. Maria Rowena Muyuela the group of Indama is responsible in extortion activities victimizing project contractors concreting the Magkawa-Al-Barka section of the Basilan Circumferential Road.

The pursuit operation came after two clashes ensued early Friday that left 18 soldiers from the Army’s 18th Infantry Battalion wounded.

Army’s 104th Infantry Brigade information officer Capt. Richard Enciso disclosed that eight of the 18 soldiers were wounded when a clash erupted around 2:25 a.m. Friday in at Sitio Kurellem, Barangay Silangkum, Tipo-Tipo.

Another clash ensued several minutes later in the same area that resulted to the injury of another 10 soldiers.

Enciso said the Abu Sayyaf bandits were believed to also have suffered casualties during the two succeeding clashes.

Muyuela said the soldiers, who suffered slight injuries, were airlifted to the military’s Camp Navarro General Hospital in this city.

Muyuela said the troops were conducting combat operations when they encountered a group the Indama-led Abu Sayyaf bandits.

Muyuela said the combat operation is primarily aimed against the Abu Sayyaf bandits who were responsible in extortions activities victimizing contractors undertaking government projects in Tipo-Tipo area.

She said the combat operation is purposely to clear the areas of Tipo-Tipo and Albarka of Abu Sayyaf influence to pave the way for the normalization and development of the two depressed areas.

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